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Here’s how weak policies on remote education have let our teachers down

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The coronavirus pandemic has led to significant disruption to school education in England. Teachers have made a concerted effort to use digital technology and remote teaching and learning to lessen the impact of this disruption on their students.

However, thanks to a decade of unambitious government policy, many have faced an uphill struggle. A general lack of preparedness for digital technology in England has left many children without the tools they need to access and benefit from remote learning.

Our recent research shows that teachers have been hampered by weak policies surrounding technology supported learning, and by the research behind these policies. To unlock the educational potential of digital technologies in the future, teachers need support that focuses on innovation and practice.

[Read: How to inspire creativity from your remote workers]

A decade stood still

The importance of using digital technology in teaching, and some of its associated challenges, were established well over a decade ago.

However, the coalition government of 2010 brought in policies that increasingly neglected the role of digital technologies in education. It began with the closure of the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency in 2011.

This organization faced some justified criticism, including for its tendency towards uncritical adoption of educational technology. But it did play an important role, supporting schools in their attempts to acquire and integrate digital technologies in the classroom.